Tuesday, April 25, 2017

243. The Bells for Peace



Today is ANZAC Day – ( … a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders and those from the neighbouring Pacific Islands  "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served" … ) – and so wanting to acknowledge this important day in some manner here on the other side of the planet to Australia, I made a visit to The Bells Peace Monument in outer suburban Sofia.

 


First it was a short ride on the Metro, then a good walk on a beautiful almost cloud-free day through the New Sofia Business District to the Kambanite Park - with snow-capped Mount Vitosha in the background..

 

Here, in the center of the park is a complex consisting of a huge 37 metre high concrete monument comprising of 4 vertical pillars oriented according to the four cardinal directions, and a spiral composition of two hemispheres in which seven bells are placed - representing the seven continents. The motto of the monument is “Unity, Creativity, Beauty”, and it is engraved in Bulgarian and in English on one of the pillars - and in a circle around this major monument are placed a number of much smaller concrete structures on which bells are hung representing different countries (100 bells were hung in 1979 ).


The Bells Monument was originally built as part of the celebrations for the first ever International Year of the Child in 1979. Back then the structure was officially called the ‘Banner of Peace’. The initiative kept going for about a decade and the four assemblies that were held at the complex during this period played host to several thousand children who came from nearly 140 countries to celebrate peace. The event ceased in 1990 and the complex fell into a state of disrepair and some of the bells were stolen. The site is now open again as a place of interest and security  measures have ensured no more bells are stolen and the gardens that surround the structure are well manicured. And surrounded by a beautiful park-like forest, the site is very much a haven of peace.

 



 

 ... Palestine ...

... Algeria and Mongolia ...
 
 ... Laos ...

 ... International Children's Assembly ..

 
 ... Ghana ...

... Bulgarian Health Collective ...
 
 ... Brunei Darussalam ...

 

 ... Japan ...

 ... Republic of Korea ...


 ... Islamic Republic of Iran ...


 
 ... this flower reminded me of wattle
and made me feel rather homesick ...
( Wattle is the national flower of Australia )

 ... Australia ...
( unfortunately the bell has lost its donger ... !!! )
... but I gave it a good hard gong anyway
with my 1947 Australian penny talisman ...

 


 ... Vietnam ...

 ... Bulgaria ...

 ... USA ...

 

 ... Cuba ...



... China ... 
 

 ... Afghanistan ...

 ... PDR Korea ...

... USSR ...
 
... Lebanon ...
 
 ... unfortunately many bells have been stolen ...

 

 ... from the children of Bulgaria living abroad ...

 ... Syria ...

 


Needless to say, as I wandered this very special site on this very special day, I gonged these bells very loudly in the hope that our world leaders would hear this ringing for world peace ...